Senate President Stivers still hopeful pension reform bill can be introduced within first week or two of session

01/02/2018 03:50 PM

FRANKFORT – Pensions were on the mind of legislators as the 60-day 2018 General Assembly session got underway on Tuesday.

The number one issue to be deal with is a pension reform bill since a special session that Gov. Matt Bevin planned to call to address the issue did not happen in 2017.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, says that he is hopeful that a bill will be introduced early in the session.

“We hope to get something related to the pensions as soon as possible,” Stivers said. “Certain things such as actuarial scoring, the process of the respective chambers getting themselves and their leaderships established so we can move forward, but hopefully within a few days, we will have something in the House or the senate related to pensions.”

Stivers doesn’t care if the initial bill starts in the Senate or House.

“I have no preference, I just think we need to get it done,” Stivers said. “People say this is tough, it is tough. It is tough, but this is what we were elected to do.”

Many suggest that the pension issue must be solved before a budget can be crafted.

Stivers says that’s not necessarily true, but if pension reform does not take place, the cuts would be devastating.

“It would mean a draconian budget if it is not,” Stivers said. “I think that’s why we need to deal with it to know what our budget will look like knowing the contributions to our general fund that will have to be designated to deal with our pension obligations.”

If a pension bill is proposed, Stivers believes that all parties involved will have ample opportunity to respond before a vote is taken.

“There will be ample opportunity for people, having what they knew out of the first bill, what’s going to be in the culmination of the changes in this next bill. It will be easily understood, easily read, they’ll have ample time to comment before it goes to votes in respective chambers.”

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at



  • Chris Tobe wrote on January 02, 2018 08:43 PM :

    “it will mean a draconian budget without it.” This is what I call the #1 Lie, in my Top Ten Biggest Pension Lies in my 2018 book. None of the even hinted pension changes by Bevin have any material effect on the budget.

  • Chris Tobe wrote on January 02, 2018 08:46 PM :

    “it will mean a draconian budget without it.” This is what I call the #1 Lie, in my Top Ten Biggest Pension Lies in my 2018 book. None of the even hinted pension changes by Bevin have any material effect on the budget.

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on January 02, 2018 09:14 PM :

    To the super majority GOP Senate, some of you all have to break off and start debating with your fellow senators about something. We have watched the Senate hug and kiss and be playful with one another, for the last several years. At the same time, your constituents are suffering from Paducah to Pikeville. Even the constituents in the Golden Triangle need to be seeing more leadership. I talked to a friend this morning, and he asked what was accomplished over the interim. I didn’t really think about until that point, but my response to him was I didn’t know. Now, today was opening day, and I don’t put too much into it. But, I saw flashbacks of the last 3 or 4 sessions where nothing of substance comes out of the Senate anymore, with regard to debates. They will go back in their little caucus meeting and have tea and cookies. That counts for a lot they say. They are still working for us, friends. The last good debate we had in the Senate, where republicans went against republicans was the Beer Bill. Now, how pitiful is that? That is the only thing I can remember where our senators had enough gumption to get up and state their claim as to what they were fighting for. There should be a floor speech every single day, from one of you, about some important topic you are working on. Now, if you have to have a lobbyist write it up for, so be it. But, one of you have enough passion to talk to your citizens out here watching KET, instead of looking like a bunch of preps going to a polo game.

    Everyone I talk to says that we need anywhere between 2 and 4 billion dollars, in new revenue. So, lets just call it an even 3 billion dollars needed. When are we going to address the revenue issues? This is what has to go along with the much needed pension reform. No one is being fooled by only talking about pension reform. We don’t know what we need until we approve this pension reform. Lets hurry up and rush it through. Stivers says, Thayer says, Bowen says, Bevin says, etc. Ricky Lee Williams, Jr. says we need $3 billion.

    To Senate President Robert Stivers, we have problems in the KSP administrative ranks. I have asked for 2 years now, if we could remove your best friend, Sen. Albert Robinson and replace him with Sen. Danny Carroll over the Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee. It seems your friendship with Sen. Robinson is more important than the men and women of the KSP getting some needed attention and upgrades to their agency. I think it is a shame, Sen. Stivers, that you have all these KSP friends there at the capitol and back home in the mountains, but you are allowing this agency to crumble in front of our eyes, out of loyalty to Sen. Robinson, who you know has no business running this important committee. Leadership matters president Stivers, and year in and year out, I’m thinking less of your leadership. RL

  • Ben wrote on January 03, 2018 07:46 PM :

    I don’t understand why “draconian cuts” will be necessary if a pension bill isn’t passed. Even a good pension bill, which I’ve yet to see, wouldn’t save any money immediately. So why would cuts be necessary right now?

    None of this makes sense. I don’t think the legislature is being honest.

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